Who We Are

James Copland


Just a few words about my time with Alternate Shadows then...

I think I first joined the group way back in 2005. Having always been a little on the shy side, I thought that joining an amateur dramatics club might be a way of gaining a bit of confidence and facing a few fears; so after a bit of research and the exchange of a few emails, I found myself rocking up at Cleave Warne hall to meet Richard and the gang.

I was far from a natural when it came to pretty much anything to do with performing in front of other people, but the friendly and supportive atmosphere created by Richard, Sophia and the rest of the crew encouraged me to get stuck in to participating in both the front- and back-stage activities of the group, at first in rehearsing and preparing for shows they were planning to put on, and then eventually even plucking up the courage to learn some lines and perform in front of an audience.

I think that, over the couple of years I was a part of the group, I had roles or helped out with several of the comedies, murder mysteries and pantos the Alternate Shadows does so well; however, the production that I remember best was actually a slightly darker, more ironic play, called 'Are You Normal Mr. Norman?', about the eponymous hero of the piece taking a trip to the dentist and getting far more than he bargained for (in the form of a sadistic and megalomaniacal dental practitioner, played with relish by Mr. Harding!). It was great fun to be a part of bringing the play to an audience, and a personal highlight had to be when we entered it into a local one-act play festival, and did rather well in scooping a couple of awards (yours truly even managed to win best actor in a minor role - a testament to both the coaching skills and support of my fellow Thespians, and the possibility that the judges needed sight and/or hearing tests!!).

All-in-all, it was a great experience to be a part of Alternate Shadows and to have a bit of success at something I never thought I'd be able to do. I'm really pleased the group is still going strong a few years down the line, and that they are still getting their particular brand of humor and showmanship out there - hopefully for many more years to come.